QUETTA: Interim Interior Minister Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti made allegations on Saturday, asserting that the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India’s foreign intelligence agency, had a hand in the recent terror incidents occurring in Balochistan.
Addressing the media in Quetta, he stated, “Those serving as facilitators, whoever they may be, whatever names they go by, to us, they all share the same origin and are being controlled from a singular source, RAW is the force behind all of them.”
The minister went on to say, “All previous incidents, particularly the major ones in Balochistan, have been exposed, and RAW’s involvement has consistently surfaced, driven by forces aiming to destabilize Pakistan.”
No supporting evidence or proof was provided by Bugti to substantiate his claims.
Bugti’s comments came one day after a tragic suicide bombing targeted a 12th Rabiul Awwal procession in Mastung, Balochistan, claiming the lives of 55 individuals, including a police officer.
As of now, no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, although the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), known for some of the deadliest attacks in Pakistan, denied involvement.
In response to the attack, the caretaker government of Balochistan declared a three-day mourning period.
Another bombing occurred in Hangu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the previous day, targeting a mosque within a police station. The explosion led to five fatalities, and 12 individuals sustained injuries as the mosque’s roof collapsed due to the blast.
Bugti, speaking to the media on the current situation, vowed to track down terrorists in their hideouts and emphasized that appeasement policies would no longer be tolerated.
“We have observed the appeasement policies of the past two to three years, and there is no room for tolerance towards that,” he stated.
He also asserted that the state was well aware of the locations where terrorists were operating and stated, “We will penetrate their hideouts and safe havens to confront them.”
Addressing the complex nature of attacks, where one organization may carry out an attack while another claims responsibility, Bugti indicated that investigations into the recent attacks were ongoing.
Bugti emphasized that violence would only be sanctioned by the state, regardless of the banner under which it is carried out, be it Daesh, TTP, or any other entity, while pledging to pursue terrorists relentlessly.
Reflecting on a prior attack earlier in the month that left JUI-F leader Hafiz Hamdullah injured, the minister revealed that the mastermind behind that attack had been eliminated.
He lamented past instances when the state had shifted to an “appeasement policy” in its dealings with terrorist elements.
Regarding the suspension of district commissioners (DCs) and superintendents of police (SPs), Bugti stated that the provincial Information Minister Jan Achakzai would provide detailed information, and he assured a thorough investigation into the matter.
Bugti also noted that the recent blast was the first of its kind in Balochistan concerning the occasion of the 12th Rabiul Awwal, highlighting previous targeting of the Hazara community and Muharram processions.
In reference to the abduction of footballers from the Dera Bugti district earlier in the month, Bugti confirmed that four of them had returned. Responding to a reporter’s query about whether they were recovered or released by the abductors, Bugti stated, “Four have come back, and God-willing, the remaining two will also be recovered.”